Last October, museum curators selected out of hundreds of submissions 11 artists to be part of Artists of Hawai‘i 2013. On Feb. 27, director Stephan Jost invited them to meet in his office. “My hope is you guys will steal, borrow from each other,” he told them, with the goal of creating community and having a unifying aspect emerge for the show, which opens in September. “I can’t think of a single significant artist who didn’t know another significant artist,” he said, saying even Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, who fought like cats and dogs, bolstered each other’s creativity by working side by side. “Groups tend to make good art.”

Each artist had four minutes to give a presentation on their work. Amber Aguirre revealed that she likes to “turn things on their head” while Drew Broderick read a passage by social/cultural anthropologist Adrienne Kaeppler about authenticity, which is what his current work addresses. Clarence Chun talked about how meeting a girl and depicting her dress—and their first date—led to a breakthrough in his painting. Kandi Everett shared portraits of her done by other artists (including our own staffers Shuzo Uemoto and Jason Teraoka) and told ripping yarns. Ryan Higa linked the philosophy behind his paintings to the TV series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—”I pop into this world at times of overreaction and gross mundanity.” Each person had a fascinating story to tell and interesting art to share. I mean, model airplanes as santos on the wall? Yeah! (That’s what Hawai‘i Island-based artist John Ferdico is working on.)

The artists are now working on their projects for Artists of Hawai‘i 2013, with guidance from curator of contemporary art James Jensen. We look forward to sharing their progress and process.

Pictured above, left to right, Drew Broderick, Kandi Everett, Yumiko Glover, Chris Ritson, Amber Aguirre, Roberta Griffith, John Ferdico, Russell Sunabe, Clarence Chun, Ryan Higa, and William Williams III.